This week at our CSA they had a table set up in the barn with three crates full of Asian eggplant. And signs that said "Help Yourself". I took four. FOUR! What was I thinking? I still had two in the fridge!
I was thinking about 30 hypothetical things I could do with them. And I couldn't remember a single one when I got home.
After thinking and scratching my head and chewing my pen I decided to come up with some sort of sandwich with thin crispy pieces of eggplant that allow you to actually taste the eggplant, unlike eggplant parmesan.
Tyson walked in and said "Wow, it smells like a restaurant in here!" A few minutes later he took a bite and said "...That's why! Because this tastes like a restaurant!"
Whoo-hoo! Ten points for the midweek meal!
Here's how it happened.
Fried Eggplant "Restaurant" Sandwich
for the eggplant:
2 Asian eggplants, cut into three pieces and then sliced the long way 1/4 to 1/3 inch thick (see pictures)
1/2 cup cornmeal
salt and paprika
4 eggs whisked in a large bowl
Mix your flour and cornmeal, salt and paprika on a baking sheet. Oil another baking sheet and have at the ready. Preheat your oven to 425 Fahrenheit.
Dip and drip the slices in the egg.
Lay them in the cornmeal mixture and make sure both sides are evenly covered.
Arranged on oiled pan and bake for 6 minutes or until crispy. Flip over and bake another 6 minutes.
1 Loaf of bread, mine was about the size of a football, sliced the long way through the middle
2 tbsp. mayo mixed with one clove minced garlic
3 leafs of Romaine
4 slices of red onion
Cheddar cheese to make sufficiently cheesey
Thinly sliced Red Bell Pepper (garnish)
I put my bread cut side down right on the oven rack for the last 6 minutes of my eggplant.
Spread the mayo and arrange romaine. lay eggplant in an overlapping chevron pattern (see pictures).
Follow with onion, cheddar, peppers and oregano.
Place 'sandwich' open faced on your oiled pan and place in oven until melted.
Slice huge chunks and serve.